Planting Grass Seed
A lush, green lawn is a beautiful addition to any home. But if your lawn is patchy or bare, you can easily improve it by planting grass seed. Planting grass seed is a relatively simple process, but there are a few things you need to do to ensure success.
The best time to plant grass seed
The best time to plant grass seed is in the fall or spring. The temperatures are cooler during these seasons, which helps the grass seed to germinate and establish itself. You want the temperatures to be consistenly hitting 70 - 80 degrees before you plant. Spring can be a good time to seed because lawns are naturally starting to grow and you can get a lush lawn going for the summer. However, weeds are also germinating in the spring so fall can be a good time to plant so you don’t have to compete with weeds as much.
Choose the right grass seed.
There are many different types of grass seed available, so it's important to choose one that is well-suited to your climate and growing conditions. In Utah, you will want to choose a cool-season grass seed that is drought tolerant. Some good options include Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and ryegrass. Our most popular grass seeds are three way blends that include Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, and rye so you get the best look and feel while also still having a lawn that is drought tolerant and able to handle stress.
Preparing the soil
Before you plant any grass seed, you need to prepare the soil. The soil should be loose and free of weeds, debris, and rocks. You can loosen the soil with a garden rake or a tiller. If your soil is compacted, you may need to add some compost, gypsum, or sand to improve drainage.
Planting the grass seed
Once the soil is prepared, you can start planting the grass seed. Follow the directions on the seed packet for the correct seeding rate. Generally, you will need to plant about 2-3 pounds of grass seed per 1,000 square feet. The depth of planting will vary depending on the type of grass seed you are using, but usually you should plant the seed about 1/4 inch deep. You can broadcast the seed by hand or use a seed spreader.
Covering the grass seed
After you have planted the grass seed, you need to cover it with a thin layer of soil. Most people use either peat moss or soil pep for this but other ammendments will work too. This will help to keep the seed moist and protect it from birds and other animals. You can also put down a starter fertilizer such as Milorganite but this isn't required.
Watering the grass seed
The most important thing to do after you have planted grass seed is to water it regularly. The soil should be kept moist, but not soggy. You may need to water the grass seed several times a day, especially during hot, dry weather. Once the grass has germinated, you can water it less frequently and go back to your normal watering schedule.
Caring for the new grass
Once the grass seed has germinated, you need to continue to care for it. This includes watering, fertilizing, and mowing. The new grass will need more water than established grass. Once the grass has established itself, you can fertilize it with a 16-16-8 blend fertilizer to help it grow strong and healthy. This blend is great for new grass seed since it has more phosphorous than standard lawn fertilizers to help establish root growth in your new grass. After the grass is a few inches tall you can continue to mow the grass regularly.
Remember to follow these steps when planting grass seed:
- Plant the seed in the fall or spring, when the weather is cool and moist.
- Rake the seed into the soil after planting.
- Keep the soil moist, but not soggy, for the first few weeks.
- Water the grass deeply once a week after it has germinated.
- Fertilize the grass in the spring and fall.
- Mow the grass regularly to keep it healthy and looking its best.
With a little care and attention, you can easily plant grass seed and have a beautiful, green lawn in no time. If you have any questions about getting your lawn startede can always help you choose the best seed for your needs. Reach out to any of our experts at 801-268-4500 and we'll be happy to help you out.